Happy hour at The Grapes

Electric Tape Recorder, The Unfortunate Incident and Pisco Sour Hour @ The Grapes

Pisco, the lovely people behind themed-shows at The Grapes, offered a night of varied acts. The motif for the night? Bad luck, it seems, as there were mock broken mirrors, black cats, open umbrellas, stairs and a copy of Tony Blair’s memoir.

One of the hardest jobs in the world has to be opening a night at a sparsely populated gig room, but even with these odds against them, Electric Tape Recorder did a very good show. ‘Rope’ is a great song live (love the precarious balance between a calm voice and a yelp that’s ready to become a scream).

‘Cinnamon Statue’, that sea-shanty of a song is a joy, even if that lyric about being “locked away and throwing away the key” brings bad images to my head. They even played a new song, called ‘Palace of dirt’, which was a harbinger of some good stuff to come. For a band with only two members, they sure put a good show and gotta love the drumming style of Craig Stancer.

Ah, The Unfortunate Incident. A band that needs no introductions, just a couple of monkeys to distract the people from the fact that although their music is happy, the lyrics are a real downer. My editor used to call them “happy and depressing” and although it sounds a little harsh, that’s kinda of what you get.

In plain English: it has never been so fun to be depressed. The mix of country rock with some good lyrical word (a somewhat verbose punk approach for them) is what makes them memorable.

Slice of life lamentations (‘the boy who stood in the rain’), the horrible realisation that life is way harder than it looks (‘Endure or enjoy’) and a catchy song about an alcoholic (‘Cause & Effect’) were some of the golden oldies that The Unfortunate Incident (or The Palmer Bros and Not-Tom for this show) did.

They also did a couple of new-ish songs, ‘Fool’ and ‘Fire’. I’m biased towards ‘Fool’ (dancey, dopey and catchy) so I’ll just say that is a good one. ‘Fire’, which is a rockier song, it’s pretty emotional, with Russell’s voice being more of a lament, filled with sorrow. The set was closed with a ‘The Unfortunate Incident’, a great “last song, pack yer stuff!” ditty to end shows.

Brian (from Goodbye Good) was covering drumming duties as Tom is out on China. Gotta say that Brian did a great job, I loved his approach to ‘The boy who stood in the rain’ and the pummelling in ‘Exact Recollections’.

Pisco Sour Hour took the stage and they are more of a jam-based band. They even had some saxophone (can’t go wrong with it) which went well with their style. They invited one of their fans, who apparently had been rudely awakened with the news he would sing that day with them. The song was called ‘Idiot’ and it’s very Madchester, probably one of the best from their set.

Vocal duties in Pisco Sour Hour seem to be on a healthy rotation, which probably helps to do the different styles they do, veering from the usual drawn out jam to some more AOR style rock that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the good thing about being able to do various styles is that you can branch out.

The event was sadly under attended, but it was a good night, make no mistake about it (loved the fortune cookies). Some variety on the acts, from Rock to Jams to Punk and back again, and hey, you can’t go wrong with monkeys, umbrellas and black cats when you got some good tunes to pass the time.

Gallery (bad day for the camera, sorry)

Words & shit pictures: —Sam

The Unfortunate Incident

Facebook. Myspace. Last.fm. Twitter.

Electric Tape Recorder

Myspace. Last.fm. Facebook.

Pisco Sour Hour (their website has some free stuff. Might be worth yer time checking them out).

Facebook. Website. Myspace. Last.fm.

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